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The Voice of Tokyo for over 50 Years

JAPAN’S NO.1 ENGLISH LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE

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The Best 15 Winter Illuminations and Christmas Lights in and Around Tokyo

It's time to turn on the lights

By Weekender Editor

One thing which signals the arrival of winter? Illuminations, of course. Gaze upon thousands — if not millions — of dazzling winter lights at one of these glittering seasonal events around Japan. For those in Tokyo, there’s plenty of choices this year, with many events reinstated for 2022–2023.

Winter Illuminations in Tokyo (2022–2023)

1. Dazzling Lights at Roppongi Hills Christmas 2022

Roppongi Hills comes to life when the whole complex is ablaze with light trails, celebrating the season all the way along Keyakizaka-dori, Mohri Garden and the Christmas tree at Roku-Roku Plaza. Watch some 80,000 lights glitter along the elegant streets of Roppongi. Make the most of the holiday season as you stroll through the stores and hunt for festive mulled wine.

When: Until Dec 25
Where: Keyakizaka-dori (next to Roppongi Hills)

2. Tokyo Midtown Winter Lights 2022

This year’s festive event will present an exciting and colorful Christmas scene. In addition to the tree illumination, there will be smoke-filled bubbles released every six minutes, until December 14th. Throughout the run, dazzling trees mark the countdown to Christmas with other installations including the popular skating rink.

When: Until Dec 25
Where: Tokyo Midtown

3. Tokyo Skytree Town Magical Christmas Lights

Tokyo Skytree and Tokyo Skytree Town will be decked out in Christmas colors and winter lights, renewed to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the area. The Skytree will display two variations for 2022: ‘Candle’ and ‘Champagne.’ In the ‘town, an eight-meter white Christmas tree will be on display, along with projection mapping and the triumphant return of the Christmas market.

When: Until Dec 25
Where: Tokyo Skytree

4. Omotesando Hills Christmas Illuminations 2022

The atrium of Omotesando Hills lights up during the holiday season, with an artisan installation by Daisy Balloons artists. A floating tree featuring over 14,000 lit-up balloons, this is worth checking out after you’ve seen the 900,000 lights running down Omotesando Dori.

When: Until Dec 25
Where: Omotesando Hills Atrium

5. Tokyo Mega Illumination 2022

This mega illumination event will open for its third year, not succumbing to the difficulties brought upon by the pandemic. Both children and adults alike are sure to be mesmerized by the upgraded rainbow water fountain light show. When visiting, allow yourself extra time — a circuit of the facilities takes about an hour and features many different illumination areas.

When: Until Jan 10
Where: Oi Racecourse

6. Yebisu Eternal Illumination

Yebisu Garden Place is a go-to location, in Tokyo, for a romantic winter illumination date. Every season, thousands of Tokyoites come to enjoy the small shops and see the decorated Christmas tree. Even more mesmerizing is the display of one of the world’s largest Baccarat chandeliers. This year’s illumination theme is “when there is light, there is hope.”

When: Until Jan 10
Where: Yebisu Garden Place

7. Shinjuku Southern Illuminations 2022

The Shinjuku Southern Terrace winter illuminations return for the first time in three years and features the Twinkly Light System, an impressive interactive light show.

The terrace will be lit with fantastical mirror balls and a Christmas tree in collaboration with Kiki & Lala, Little Twin Stars. Don’t miss out on the stunning Christmas tree decorated with pink and blue light baubles.

When: Until Feb 14
Where: Shinjuku Southern Terrace

8. Marunouchi Illumination 2022-2023

As with every year, around 340 trees on both sides of Naka-dori in Marunouchi will be brightly lit by about 1.2 million champagne gold lights. The light trail stretches along Tokyo Torch Park and Otemachi Naka-dori. Around Tokyo Torch Terrace, many restaurants and cafés will make terrace seats available, perfect for relaxing and enjoying the illuminations.

When: Until Feb 19
Where: Marunouchi and Yurakucho areas

9. Hibiya Magic Time Illumination 2022

The concept for this event is “a moment like magic.” Hibiya is a town that frequently appears in movies and television dramas, making it the best place to take a moment away from everyday life. The illuminations are champagne gold and amber, giving a warm and relaxing vibe to the whole area. Go to the Park View Winter Garden on the 6th floor for more illuminations and a beautiful view of city lights and its light trails.

When: Until Feb 14
Where: Tokyo Midtown Hibiya

Tokyo Dome City

10. Tokyo Dome City Winter Illumination 2022

Tokyo Dome City’s illuminations are one of the most spectacular and interactive lights of the season. You’ll find magnificent tunnels of lights, a giant Christmas tree and dozens of winter-inspired sculptures scattered around the area. This year’s theme is “picture-perfect illuminations.”

When: Until Feb 28
Where: Tokyo Dome City

11. Odaiba Illumination “Yakei”

Odaiba’s all-year illumination “Yakei” looks even more magical than usual, boasting the biggest tree in the whole of Tokyo. Its 20-meter tall, 10-meter wide Memorial Tree is illuminated with gorgeous light trails. Don’t forget to take a picture in front of the classic “Odaiba” sign as well.

When: Year-round
Where: Odaiba Decks Tokyo Beach

Winter Lights Around Japan 2022–2023

Here are some winter illuminations away from Tokyo worth the trip.

1. Yomiuri Land Jewellumination 2022

The world’s only gemstone-inspired illumination event is taking place at Yomiuri Land, featuring a record-breaking 6.5 million bulbs. This year, there will be installations using LEDs that image the world’s first jewel LED color, developed by famed Japanese lighting designer, Motoko Ishii.

The theme for the 2022-2023 season is “Greek Mythology.” Various colorful illuminations come together to create a magical environment.

When: Until Apr 9
Where: Yomiuri Land (Kanagawa)

2. Sagamiko Illumillion 2022

This winter, in addition to its regular display which uses six million LED lights, Sagamiko Illumillion features a Sumikko Gurashi –themed area for fans of the franchise. 

When: Until Apr 2
Where: Sagamiko Resort Pleasure Forest

3. Tobu Zoo Winter Illuminations

Tobu Zoo hopes to bring smiles with its 2021 winter illumination event. At night, rides and other attractions such as the Ferris wheel and rollercoaster light up. A light show using music, smoke and CG animation is one its many popular events, but also be sure to take a stroll around to spot the LED animals.

When: Until Feb 12
Where: Tobu Zoo (Saitama) 

4. Tokyo German Village Winter Illumination 2022

Tokyo German Village’s illumination event is a union of light and music. Walk under a river of lights, spot the different characters sculpted in the fields and warm up with a cup of hot chocolate.

When: Until Mar 19
Where: Tokyo German Village (Chiba) 


Original article compiled by Sayaka Mitsui.